Echuca-Moama Field and Game Club member Ricky Keirl capped off a top year with a narrow victory at the club’s 75 target handicap shoot on Sunday, November 20.
Keirl’s 62/75 raw score won high gun on the day and will ensure he joins others in contention for the 2016 club champion and aggregate awards.
Keirl was one of 88 contestants tackling a 37/38 composite course prepared by Jason Smith and helpers.
The course, with considerable variety, began to the north of the clubhouse before utilising sites in a wide arc stretching almost to the ground’s southern boundary.
Some nine stations were in play, meaning once shooters had been around twice, they had completed their three brackets of 25 targets.
Each group of six stations contained five stations offering two double barrel targets and a pair, while one of each six presented a single target plus two pairs.
Extra challenges were included with the introduction of simultaneous pairs at a couple of stands. Perhaps the pick of these was the one with the low and dropping left to right crossers.
With the midi starting behind the standard but catching it almost directly out from the stand, less than 20m away, it was ever so tempting, but not necessarily wise, to try for two targets in one shot.
With the addition of some changes made after the first 37 targets had been thrown, Smith’s grounds not only presented the usual spread of battues, loopers, midis, crows, rabbits, overheads and crossers, they offered the chance to shoot each type of target in a different location.
Scores on the day show that, as always, plenty of concentration was needed to come in with a wining score. Keirl began with a 21 and a 22 before lapsing a little with a final round of 19.
This gave him the narrowest of margins over Tim Finnegan and Warwick Kelvy, fellow club members who both shot 61 off the gun and both ended with handicap totals of 64/75.
Thanks to the luck of the countback draw, Finnegan was declared the AA grade winner, with Kelvy second, and Barrook’s Steve Penglase third. Penglase scored 62/75.
Three A grade shooters finished with identical totals of 68/75 apiece, before the countback gave Mark Bottcher of Barrook first prize, Michael Baldwin of Shepparton second prize, and Gary Baldwin, also of Shepparton, third prize. Michael Baldwin also shot the day’s best single round score of 24/25 in his first round.
Local Glenn Mounsey was in the winner’s circle again, earning first place in B grade with 71/75.
One target behind him was Barrook’s Mick Lewis in second, while Bendigo’s Gary Hobbs won the third place prizes with 68/75.
The trip over from Rushworth was made worthwhile for Graeme Wall when he shot steadily for 70/75 and a win in C grade.
Two locals, Brock Kreymborg with 68/75, and Chris Cox, 67/75 were the C grade place getters.
Regular visitor, Ian Poole from Bendigo, also shot consistently. His three scores of 19, 20 and 20 totalled 68/75 and gave him a win in Veterans.
He edged out Echuca Moama’s Fred McKenner, also on 68/75, thanks to the countback draw, while Barrook’s Doug Frankling was the third placed Veteran.
Dunnolly visitor Laura Smith claimed first place in Ladies with 70/75, followed in second place by Bendigo’s Carolyn Stanford and Shepparton’s Emma Cox.
Thomas Cox from Echuca Moama had a two shot margin over fellow local, Harrison Wilkie, in the Under 18 category. Their respective scores were 54/75 and 52/75.
In the Under 15 category, it was encouraging to see prizes for boys from three different local clubs.
Shepparton’s Xavier Russell won with 73/75, ahead of Barrook’s Ryan Archard, 62/75, and Echuca Moama’s Jordon Smith, 61/75.
At the end of competition, president Tim Finnegan took the opportunity to thank the day’s sponsors, club workers, and the many visitors at the shoot, for their ongoing support and commitment to the club.
He also reminded them of the programme in place for the final shoot of 2016.
The December shoot, a 70 target two person team novelty event, will also feature the presentation of the club’s two annual trophies before concluding with its annual Christmas dinner.
Those interested in shooting should be at the ground between 11am and noon.
At the conclusion of the shoot, Santa will be along to meet and greet all the children present.
In addition, life members June and George Shawcross will be on hand to present trophies to the club’s 2016 champion and 2016 aggregate winner.
All sponsors, members, competitors, family and friends are invited to stay on to enjoy the free meal provided by the club and to share in good company and fellowship as they say goodbye to another year.
High gun: Ricky Keirl, Echuca Moama (62/75).
AA grade: Tim Finnegan, Echuca Moama (64/75) 1, Warwick Kelvy, Echuca Moama (64/75) 2, Stephen Penglase, Barrook (62/75) 3.
A grade: Mark Bottcher, Barrook (68/75) 1, Michael Baldwin, Shepparton (68/75) 2, Gary Baldwin, Shepparton (68/75) 3.
B grade: Glenn Mounsey, Echuca Moama (71/75) 1, Mick Lewis, Barrook (70/75) 2, Gary Hobbs, Bendigo (68/75) 3.
C grade: Graeme Wall, Rushworth (70/75) 1, Brock Kreymborg, Echuca Moama (68/75) 2, Chris Cox, Echuca Moama (67/75) 3.
Veterans: Ian Poole, Bendigo (68/75) 1, Fred McKenner, Echuca Moama (68/75) 2, Doug Frankling, Barrook (62/75) 3.
Women’s: Laura Smith, Dunnolly (70/75) 1, Carolyn Stanford, Bendigo (64/75) 2, Emma Cox, Shepparton (63/75) 3.
Under 18: Thomas Cox, Echuca Moama (54/75) 1, Harrison Wilkie Echuca Moama (52/75) 2.
Under 15: Xavier Russell, Shepparton (73/75) 1, Ryan Archard, Barrook (62/75) 2, Jordon Smith, Echuca Moama (61/75) 3.
Echuca-Moama Field and Game Club extends its sympathies to the family of Gavin Allison, a long time club member, who sadly died earlier this month.
Gavin and wife Karen played a large part in the establishment of the club’s Milgate Rd shooting ground, enjoyed extensively by so many visitors during the past 25 years.